InterviewAPIC ’09: Borouge on track to complete new projects

15 May 2009 04:55  [Source: ICIS news]

BorougeBy Joseph Chang and Bohan Loh

SEOUL (ICIS news)--United Arab Emirates-based petrochemical major Borouge is on track to start up its Borouge 2 project in mid-2010 and is pushing ahead to complete a third complex by the end of 2013, the CEO of its marketing arm said on Friday.

“The economic situation will have its ups and downs, but we are taking a very long-term view of investment. It is not our approach to stop now,” said William Yau in an interview with ICIS news on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference.

Asia is on a long-term high-growth pattern. That’s why we will push ahead with Borouge 3,” he added.

Polyolefins production from the Borouge 2 and 3 projects, both located in Ruwais, UAE, is targeted for export to the Asia market. Borouge’s marketing arm is headquartered in Singapore.

Borouge is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Borealis, with production operations in Abu Dubai.

The Borouge 2 project, currently 75% complete, includes a 1.5m tonne/year cracker, two 400,000 tonne/yeay polypropylene (PP) units using Borealis’ Borstar technology, and a 540,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) plant, said Yau.

Borouge 2, which would bring the company’s total polyolefins capacity up to 2m tonnes/year, would ship its first cargo in about June 2010, he said.

“I think next year would be a good timing [for the start up of Borouge 2]. We have been investing a lot of our resources, particularly in marketing and sales and also building up a lot of infrastruture in the key markets and these structures would be ready by next year,” Yau said.

“So from that point of view, it would be good timing to start next year,” Yau said.

He said Borouge was not too concerned over the multiple start ups of polymer facilities in China over the next few years. "China, as a whole, is moving into a more high quality requirement and more differentiated market in whatever they produce. So in that way, it also gives Borouge a good opportunity because we are focusing on this area,” Yau said.

The Borouge 3 complex that will house an ethane cracker as well as downstream PP and PE units, will boost the company’s total polyolefins capacity to around 4.5m tonnes/year. Both represented multi-billion dollar projects, said Yau.

“This economic crisis also presents an opportunity to invest at lower cost and higher quality. Prices for construction and materials are falling,” he said, adding that this period was also a “golden opportunity” to recruit trained and skilled human resource.

The company had entered the front end engineering and design (FEED) phase for Borouge 3, which could last about 18 months, he noted.

As part of its focus on the Asia market, Borouge was also building logistics hubs in Guangzhou and Shanghai, China, and a 50,000 tonnes plastics compounding plant in Shanghai to coincide with the start-up of Borouge 2 in mid-2010, said Yau.

“This will bring us closer to our customers and allow us to react faster to their demands and market conditions,” he said.

Borouge would also have the ability to scale-up the Shanghai compounding plant to 80,000 tonnes/year within six months if necessary, said Yau.

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By: Bohan Loh
+65 6780 4359

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